In reading with my kids again about Hannah, I was stirred all the more at the faith of this woman. How often have we made a promise to God, yet soon conveniently "forgotten" to hold up our end of the deal? Well, she didn't.
The Lord remembered her and gave her a son, Samuel. What absolutely blows my mind is that Hannah remembered her vow and performed it. She had promised the Lord that the son would be given to Him all the days of his life, and she made good on her promise.
Hannah decided to keep Samuel at home without accompanying her husband on the annual trip to the house of the Lord in Shiloh until the child was weaned. Now I have heard that weaning in that time period could happen at around 3-4 years of age. She had time with her little one. Time to raise him. Time to get to know his personality. Time to become seriously attached. Don't get me wrong, I became attached to my children while they were still in the womb. But imagine with me for a moment walking your preschool age child to the priest and then walking away...as he looks and wonders where Mama went. That breaks my heart!
Are you willing to take the answers to your prayers and offer them back to the Lord? Can you take the gifts you have longed for and willingly choose to give them to Him?
I wonder if the Lord withheld a child from this woman for that period of time to build her character. Perhaps He knew that she would be one with whom He could entrust His next prophet. Perhaps He knew that she would love Him more than her gift, and she would trust His purpose in all of it.
I challenge you to cling more tightly to the Promiser than the promise. What we have been given belongs to Him...may we offer it freely with the faith Hannah displayed.
Father, I don't want to place all that You have given ahead of You in my heart. Help me to be more willing to trust You with all of the answered prayers. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
1 Samuel 1:19-28